Great Expectations: Do your employees know what is expected of them at work?

Employee satisfaction reigns supreme as one of the key factors for managing turnover in every organization. And much of this starts with employee expectations.

At the top of Gallup’s list of Core Elements for Workplace Satisfaction is the phrase, “Do I know what is expected of me at work?”

While this question may seem straightforward, the answer is multi-layered and requires that many departments and teams work together to ensure that every employee’s response is an emphatic “yes!”

So, where do employees begin to understand expectations? It all starts in the hiring process.

You must make sure that your job descriptions are up to date in your job postings, and confirm with the hiring manager that the listed responsibilities accurately reflect the work the employee will be doing on a regular basis.

As soon as an employee receives an offer, confirm his/her job description again, and share a list of expectations for their first day on the job. An employee who is left guessing about first-day expectations may show up late, unprepared, and dressed in attire that gets them sent home.

When you clearly communicate first-day expectations, your new hires show up red e for work.

During orientation, consider setting and reinforcing expectations around the following:

  1. Culture – How do you expect employees to behave at work? What are the cornerstones of your company’s culture? What kind of behavior should they NOT expect (and report to HR)?
  2. Attire and appearance – What should an employee look like upon arrival at work? What kind of clothing or uniform is required? What happens when an employee doesn’t meet these expectations?
  3. Quality and safety – What procedures, rules, and practices must be followed to keep employees safe and ensure quality in your workplace? What can employees expect if they violate safety/quality parameters?
  4. Pay and benefits – When will a new hire receive his/her first paycheck? When is benefits enrollment and what is required in order to be eligible?
  5. Future opportunities – How can new hires grow and earn more money at your company? What kind of programs are in place to help with career advancement and learning new skills?

You may be able to verbally review all of this in your new hire orientation, but with limited attention spans, retention will be minimal. Plan to reinforce all of these expectations in various ways over time.

If you’re using Red e App as a mobile communication platform for your workforce, there are many ways that you can set and reinforce expectations with your employees. Here are a few ideas you may want to consider:

  • Save important policies and procedures in Resources for quick reference.
  • Create a “FAQs” resource to document common questions about expectations.
  • Enable Smart Messages to send reminders about cultural cornerstones 10, 20, and 30 days after orientation.
  • Empower the quality/safety manager to distribute tips on a weekly basis to reinforce procedures.
  • Establish permission-based folders for each department to store job-specific expectations and protocols.
  • Send a video message to all employees when a new expectation has been set or when a policy needs to be brought to the forefront due to recent events.

Your employees want and need to know what is expected of them at work, even before their first day on the job. They cannot meet expectations if they don’t know that they exist, and an ever-changing list of expectations leads to frustration, confusion, and a disengaged workforce.